Thursday, May 27, 2010

"Allahu Akbar - Slaughter the Jews"

Yesterday there was a terrorism scare on a Tel Aviv bus: 
Passengers on a number 5 bus reported that a man, who was sitting in the back seat of the bus wearing a heavy coat, suddenly yelled out "itbach al yahud" in Arabic (slaughter the Jews).

"A heavyset man, around 50 years old, was sitting at the back of the bus," eyewitness Ortal Neuman told Haaretz. Neuman, who got on the bus several stops earlier, said that the suspect was already on the bus when she got on. She added that there were not many people on the bus.

"When we got to Ben Gurion Street, we heard him [the suspect] yell out 'Allahu Akbar' several times. After that he yelled out in Arabic 'I'm going to kill Jews'" Neuman said. She explained that she did not see whether he was carrying any packages, but that he was wearing long sleeves and looked "fat."
The Islamic Jihad-oriented Palestine Today mentions the story, without any editorializing (although they do stress the fear of the passengers, a recurring theme in the PalArab press - evoking fear among Israelis is a source of pride.)

I found their graphic illustrating the story to be interesting. It is an animated image saying "Allahu Akbar," immediately under the headline that quotes the suspect as saying  "God is great - Will slaughter the Jews." 

The Western media will reflexively distance distinctly Islamic phrases such as "Allahu Akbar" from the hint of terrorism, or anti-semitism.

Palestine Today's image choice shows that the newspaper has no interest in distancing "Allahu Akbar" from "Slaughter the Jews" and that the two phrases go together quite well.